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Students to Attend Clinton Global Initiative University Meeting

Sofia Villalón '18 is one of four students who will attend the Clinton Global Initiative University’s 10th annual meeting.

Four SUNY Geneseo students will be among more than 1,100 students from around the world who will attend the Clinton Global Initiative University’s (CGI U) 10th annual meeting and work on action plans later this month at Northeastern University.

Student attendees will have the opportunity to attend plenary sessions, working sessions, and special events which will enable them to network with their peers, build skills and identify potential project partners.

The program will feature dozens of experts in the CGI U's five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health. The field experts will be joined by university representatives to lead discussions to find effective solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The main focus is to develop and refine practical solutions to real-world problems that draw on college students’ academic and co-curricular experiences.  Integral to CGI U is the students’ “commitments to action.” Through the commitments, students formulate concrete and practical plans to problem solve and the students are expected to follow through on these plans following their work at the annual meeting.

Kitrick McCoy, a junior business administration major from Albany, N.Y., will attend the meeting. His “call to action” involves empowering learning disabled students in college, and changing the perception of learning disabilities to being “tools for innovation.” Through surveying faculty and students around the Northeast, he hopes to discover what works and what is ineffective when it comes to “leveling the playing field” for students with disabilities.

Sofia Villalón is a senior international relations and French double major from Hopewell Junction, N.Y. Villalón’s project is the Credo Kitchen — a monthly series of tasting and dinners that are prepared by chefs from countries that include Somalia, Pakistan, and Ethiopia. The Credo Kitchen is designed to bridge communities and encourage cultural discovery.

Edgar Fellow Patrick Buckley, a junior biochemistry major, will also attend CGI U. His project is the “Discovery Cafe,” which brings scientists into the community for talks, demonstrations and discussions.

Simran Singh, a junior majoring in biology with a pre-med focus, has been selected for the CGIU Exchange, where she will have the chance to work more intensively with experts in the field and explore opportunities for scaling up the work and pursuing enhanced funding for her project to provide services for children of human trafficking victims in Rochester.

President Bill Clinton will deliver the closing plenary talk Saturday evening, and on Sunday, attendees will take part in a Day of Action in the local community.

Through the CGI University Network and other opportunities, over $750,000 will be available to select CGI U 2017 students to help them turn their ideas into action.

Geneseo has been part of the network since 2014.  The program is administered out of the Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Development with funding support from the Geneseo Foundation.


Monique Patenaude, PhD
Director of Media Relations
(585) 245-5056